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Monday, March 1, 2010

DIY Projects: Our Online Persona

Many of you know that when I get excited about something I become quite talkative (probably why one of my undergrad degrees is Communication and why I specialized in Marketing for my MBA). Occasionally I've been accused of dominating a conversation (our casework in Communication Theory was an eye-opener). So I try (and I've tried) to be conscious of who I'm talking to and what they may want to hear or not hear.

This is one reason why I wanted to have an online persona for our wedding. I write persona rather than website/wedsite or social media because I didn't want our online presence to be just informational or a hodge podge of channels. I wanted it to give a taste of what to expect in October and to showcase our personalities and our wonderful friends/family who are supporting us in this adventure. (Another reason for persona is that I've read too much Seth Godin and have taken the advice in his book "All Marketers are Liars-The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World" to heart.)

The components in our online persona are:
We don't have a Facebook Fan Page in consideration for my sister. She's a school teacher and her school has a strict policy about MySpace and Facebook Accounts. I wanted to ensure that photos would be shared in a medium that she had access to.

Besides being consistent and authentic, I wanted our online persona to be approachable by anyone - from online novice to TechGeek. To me this meant having it in place before our Save the Dates went out in the mail. I wanted one place that people could go to for information and for sharing. For everyone (and especially people not familiar with Twitter) I wanted a news feed (latest Twitter updates) on our home page - it provides accessibility without having to obtain a Twitter account and figure out how to follow us. For sharing, I borrowed an idea a bride on one of the blogs I was following had (I couldn't re-find the post or I would have appropriately credited her here). She handed out business cards to her guests with their Flickr group so that people could share their snapshots with everyone (we'll be doing this as well). I thought this was a great idea and wanted friends/family able to share photos with us from our engagement through the wedding so I have our Flickr group accessible directly from our website. I especially liked the idea of a Flickr group as I can thank the individual photographers and credit appropriately (I'm big on giving credit - my white papers for work are filled with footnotes!).

To give a taste of what's to come in October, the website will reflect our color palette and incorporate our key design elements. One of these design elements is scanned lace, chosen because it was similar to the lace on my wedding dress. To keep icons simple, I've used a swatch of scanned lace on a blue background. This lace appears again on our Save the Dates, Invitations, Wedding Favors, and Guest Book, as well as our website. The other two design elements that feature prominently are ribbons and vintage keys.

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